A day trip to Mt Horeb

7/12) was our last full day in De Forest just outside of Madison and I had one more thing I wanted to do before leaving the area, take a 32 mile drive and see the town of Mt Horeb. OK OK, I’ll fess up!!! I wanted to visit a Duluth Trading store.

 I have been a fan of Duluth Trading clothing for a number of years and have always bought cloths online because we have never been anyplace even remotely close to an actual store. And to be totally honest I’ve been looking forward to actually stepping foot into a store for a long time.

 But to go along with going to the Duluth Trading Store we got to take another nice drive through the Wisconsin farmland and see Mt Horeb which turned out to be a very cool town.

 First things first we stopped into the Duluth store and I took my time checking everything out and walked out with a couple new shirts, a pair of new cargo shorts, a new wallet and some unmentionables LOL!!

 After my shopping spree we took a walking tour around town and Diane tried her luck at finding something new but came up empty handed so we decided we better find a place for an adult beverage and a bite to eat, something we seem to always have success at.

 We checked the trusted Trip Advisor App on the phone and it showed The Grumpy Troll as the #1 eating and watering hole spot in town. To top it off it caught our eye as we were walking around so we headed back that way.


















It was about 12:30 when we walked in the door and the place was packed, a good sign. We both enjoyed our sandwiches and adult beverages and would recommend the place if you find yourself in the area.

















It seems the town is known for and has a thing for Trolls. Mount Horeb was first settled by people of English, German, Irish, Norwegian, Scottish and Swiss descent, yet in the late 1800’s more than 75% of the community was Norwegian.


















In approximately 1976, the owners of a Scandinavian gift shop called Open House Imports started placing trolls they had imported from Norway out on their lawn to entice visitors into their shop.

 Here is a link to some information about the Troll history, it’s an interesting read we thought. http://trollway.com/troll-history/

 Even though the town was mainly made up of Norwegians the Village of Mount Horeb was given its name by an Englishman and not by the Norwegians. George Wright was born in England in 1824. A few months after his marriage in 1848, he was licensed as a lay minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In that same year the Wrights immigrated to America. In 1858, they moved to Blue Mounds Township to a farm home, way out on the prairie, about a mile and a half northeast on Military Road.

Mr. Wright became active in Blue Mounds Township as it grew, serving as town treasurer and filling a term in the legislature. He was assistant provost Marshall during the Civil War. This activity led to his appointment as postmaster of the new post office, which was to serve settlers in the eastern part of the township. In 1861, the office was located in his farm home and it was his privilege to give it a name. After searching scriptures, he selected the name “Mount Horeb.” He chose it from the many references to the “mounts” because of the high elevation of his land and the beauty of the surrounding area.


















In 1867, when the Wrights moved to Norwalk, IA, the post office was brought to the little settlement called the “Corners” which became “Horeb’s Corners” and later “Mount Horeb” was recorded as the official name.

 I sort of wish we would have taken the time while there to track down all of the trolls just for the heck of it but we didn’t, if we are in the area again we will do just that.

 And there is your history lesson for the day LOL!!

 Once we finished up in town we took our leisurely drive through the back roads home. Before we got there however we made a stop at the Pink Elephant.

And then a stop at the Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet, our first stop at a cheese shop since entering Wisconsin and we were very disappointed. Sure they had lots of different types of cheese in flavors I couldn’t even imagine ever seeing in a cheese but I guess we imagined the experience to be more like we have had at wineries and heck, even at the Mustard Museum with samples everywhere showing off their product but not a sample was to be found.

 Oh sure, I guess we could have asked the two young girls working the counter if they offered samples but after letting them know it was our first time in Wisconsin and the first visit to a cheese establishment period only to receive back “I don’t give a shit” looks we figured it wouldn’t be happy go lucky experience we had hoped for and just let it be. Maybe the next shop will be more inviting.

 We did however buy some string cheese and a meat stick before leaving and heading home where we just chilled the remainder of the evening.

 Oh we should give Norske Nook an honorable mention, a Norwegian restaurant we ate at while in the area that was pretty good and had amazing pies.

 That pretty much sums up or stay in DeForest. Even though we really enjoyed what we did do in the area I doubt we will need to come back, it’s just too darn big and has too much traffic with Madison having a population of just over 252,000 people. I guess if we could get to where we wanted to be by just driving in the outlying farmlands it would be ok LOL!!

 With that said we braced ourselves for our next travel day into the largest city in Wisconsin, WHAT ARE WE THINKING!!! WHO PLANNED THIS PORTION OF OUR JOURNEY!!  

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2 Responses to A day trip to Mt Horeb

  1. Mike Goad says:

    Unlike y’all, we will need to revisit DeForest. Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids moved there 10 1/2 years ago when the son-in-law got out of the air force. We’ve made several trips up there, but not enough. It got kind of hard to do after I went back to work in Arkansas as a contractor instructor (nuclear operations). It’s been at least three years since we’ve been up there. Daughter and grandkids will be visiting this week.

    We’ve been to Mt. Horeb twice now, both times stopping in Duluth Trading Co.. I am a big fan of their Longtail T. I’m a big guy and heavier than I should be and when I’m not working or at the gym, the Longtail T is the only style of shirt that I wear.

    The first time we visited Mt. Horeb, we also visited the nearby Little Norway, a living museum located in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Little Norway closed in 2012 due to operating costs that exceeded revenue.

    Whenever we go to DeForest, we usually venture at least once into the center of Madison, usually for the Dane County Farmer’s Market, held every weekend during the warmer months on the streets circling around the Wisconsin State Capitol. It is very, very popular and very crowded — and we usually don’t do crowds — but we enjoy this kind of attraction.

    So far as your next destination, I’m assuming you mean Milwaukee. We haven’t been there often, but it has some significant meaning for us. A little over 45 years ago, as a young sailor, I stopped into the USO in Milwaukee. After playing a few hands of cards, some was asking for volunteers to go help decorate for the USO/WYCA dance that was going to be held that evening at the YWCA. Along with others, I said sure. Not long after I was there a girl up in a balcony are string crepe paper called down to me asking if she could bum a cigarette. I tossed my pack of Marlboros up to her, she took one out, tossed it back down to me… at which point the box came open and cigarettes fell all over the floor. Rather than toss my lighter up, I told her I would come on up. It turned out that Karen didn’t actually smoke. After decorating for the dance, we agreed to meet later at the dance. After the dance, we went to a couple of the clubs in the area. The drinking age at the tie was 18. Two weeks later I proposed. Five weeks after that, we were married. We celebrated our 45th anniversary last.

    Enjoy Wisconsin!

    • Dave & Diane says:

      Hi Mike, and what a great story, I loved the read. And congrats on 45 years!! We head about the big farmers market in Madison and we are big fans of farmers markets but it only took one drive through town to figure out we would pass on this one LOL!! Probably should have bellied up and did it but I just can’t make myself enjoy high traffic areas
      And you are correct, Milwaukee was our next stop. Even though I hate high traffic areas I just had to see the Harley Davidson Museum LOL. We saw a few other things as well but I need to get that update written. We have moved up to Door County now (Egg Harbor) and so far love love love it.
      Again, thanks for the comment fellow Duluth guy !!

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